I miss the 5am’s
when thoughts were hopes
when thoughts were whizzing through the air
when thoughts translated into perfect words
and the typewriter would set afree a silence
I thought I’d lost within my palm.
Today I wake at 5am
and see a different thing to blurry memories:
I see how the clouds collide
and mist befalls the breaths of early morning;
how dewdrops hang from balcony tops
never knowing how to fall;
how your laptop hums a tune
that’s static, warm, a subtle rise and fall;
how the smile by your lips
even though you’re not awake;
how nothing moves
yet everything is alive.
Happiness. Such a perplexing concept. Buddhism tells us that it’s a permanent state of enlightenment beyond temporary earthly attachments, and that like a lotus flower, you must first push through the muddy waters before you can blossom into something so beautiful and breathtaking. Only when you undergo suffering can you achieve happiness.
Perhaps, in some respects, that is true. But I think that what makes happiness so special and so precious is that it’s fleeting, that it’s not permanent; like a moment’s touch, it warms you but does not stay with you forever. Only its impression lingers in your heart, a memory, a nostalgia for the present, iridescent flashes blurred into one chaotic emotion.
Be happy. A simple statement, a simple concept, but so eternally tangled in complexity and paradox. Some suggest that you are at your happiest when you forget about being happy, much like finding a key that only appears within your line of vision after you’ve stopped looking for it. Happiness is hearing a childhood tune. Eating a slice of chocolate cake. Laughing so hard your stomach aches. Wrapping yourself in warm blankets on a cold winter’s night. It is the rush of something so light yet so profound that clutches onto your heart momentarily before it lets go.
Like an autumn leaf descending, it flies with the wind and refuses to grow lifeless even as it becomes detached from its primary source of life.
(NOTE: this is a work of fiction. I try to write positive endings most of the time, but this poem has a sad one.)
Dreaming of another day,
drinking hour hands awry;
you’re aching to seal your heart away
from spoils of a broken past.
From wreckage is born
a treasure chest of rusted gold –
but its key has drifted into future seas,
and you’re still stranded in a former life.
Lost on an island in midst of nowhere,
finding relief in footsteps on the sand –
says it’s a temporary refuge,
the only sign that you exist.
Then even this is washed away
by torrents of almighty waves –
a brewing storm explodes,
and the grey clouds in your mind escape.
You remain. Cage bars are bent open,
yet you’re still a prisoner of yourself –
unable to let go of chains
that do not even bind you.
Still dreaming of another day
and drinking final breaths away;
still aching to free your heart
from a future you mistook as the past.
(c) 2015 Katho28